IRA SPAULDING is a fine representative of the native citizens of this county who have taken an active part in advancing its rich agricultural interests. He is the proprietor of two valuable and well-improved farms in Stockbridge,--one the old family homestead where he has always lived,--and is extensively engaged in general farming and stock-raising, besides being one of the largest hop-growers in this vicinity.
July 9, 1837, is the date of his birth, his natal place being the town of Stockbridge. He is of the old pioneer stock, the family being one of the first to settle in Stockbridge, and is a son of John and Margaret (Peterson) Spaulding, who were natives respectively of Massachusetts and of Schoharie County, this State. His paternal grandfather, Leonard Spaulding, was born in one of the New England States, and died in Massachusetts, in middle age. He was
the father of six sons, all of whom are deceased. Our subject's maternal grandfather, Philip Peterson, was a native of Schoharie County, and was a Revolutionary soldier. He was a farmer by occupation. He died in Stockbridge, having lived to be over eighty-one years old. He reared quite a family of children.
The father of our subject was married in his native State. At one time he lived in the town of De Ruyter. When he came to Stockbridge, it was but sparsely inhabited; and he was one of the earliest settlers, there being but one or two white families living in the vicinity. Indians still made their home here, and wild game was plentiful. These pioneers had to live in a primitive fashion,--their clothes of homespun, woven by the deft hands of the women, and their food the produce of farm and forest. Mr. Spaulding made all the shoes for his family. He was a hard-working farmer, and was shrewd and far-sighted withal. He bought land from the Indians, improved a good farm, and engaged quite extensively in raising and feeding stock. He invested in land in Michigan, and at one time owned three or four farms there. His death occurred on the old homestead, at the venerable age of eighty-six; and his wife died there, aged seventy-six years. They were people of true Christian worth, and were honored members of the Baptist church, attending the old Indian meeting house at Stockbridge. Politically, he was a sound Democrat. Seven of the thirteen children reared by this worthy couple are living, namely: Philander J., a resident of Lenox; Samuel, of Stockbridge; Margaret, wife of Miles Parker, of Stockbridge; Ervilla,
wife of James Peterson, of Michigan; Solomon S., a resident of Vernon; Gilbert, of Fort Atkinson, Wis.; and our subject, the youngest of the family.
Ira Spaulding was educated in the district school of Stockbridge, and arrived at man’s estate well equipped for the stirring, arduous life of a wide-awake, intelligent farmer. He remained with his parents until their death, their staff and comfort in their declining years. He bought the home farm when he was but twenty-two years of age, in 1859; and all his days have been passed amid its pleasant scenes. He also took another important step in life at this time, taking unto
himself a wife in the person of Miss Lovica G. Kelley. Mrs. Spaulding was born in the town of Lenox, September 30, 1839, a daughter of Freeman and Damarius (Randall) Kelley. Her father was a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding have four children: Jefferson L., who was born June 30, 1862, and is a farmer of Stockbridge; Nettie B., who was born April 22, 1867, married William Davis, a cheese manufacturer of Peterboro, and has one child, Hazel Maud, born March 29, 1893, and the only grandchild of Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding; Edwin J., who was born May 31, 1869, and lives at home with his parents, carrying on the business of running the ‘bus and mail line, and managing the freight traffic at Munnsville, having formerly been in the mercantile trade in that village for one year, under the firm name of Van Slyke & Spaulding; and Freeman R., a student at the Normal School at Cortland. Mrs. Spaulding is a consistent Christian, as is evidenced by her every day life, and is an exemplary member of the Baptist church.
Mr. Spaulding now owns over one hundred acres of fine farming land, from whose rich and well-tilled soil he obtains a substantial income. His farm is amply provided with suitable buildings for every possible purpose, and everything about the place evinces care and good order. He is engaged in mixed husbandry, and makes a specialty of hops, having from twenty to thirty acres devoted exclusively to the growth of that plant, he being one of the largest hop-growers in the vicinity. He has another farm, which is under the management of his son. Mr. Spaulding is one of the prominent men of his town, possessing those elements of character, such as energy, firmness, common sense, and honesty of purpose and act, that cause others to rely upon him, and look to him for counsel and help in the hour of need. His political views are in accord with the tenets of the Democratic party. In his social relations he is connected with Lodge No. 658, A. F. & A. M., at Morrisville.
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